Although Japan doesn’t strictly celebrate Christmas, come winter it’s become a steadfast tradition for various districts of Tokyo to furiously attempt to outdo each other, with dazzling LED light displays.

The Best Illuminations in Tokyo This Winter

These are the capital’s major players in the wintery battle for seasonal supremacy.

Shinjuku Terrace City

Source: PR Times

The area around Shinjuku station’s new south exit will become a twinkling, flower themed spectacle and the walkway between the west exit and south exit will have multicoloured lights that express the motif of flower fairies.

Dates: 14th November - 14th February 2019

Nearest Station: Shinjuku or Shinjuku Sanchome

Omotesando Hills Christmas 2018 with Panasonic Beauty

The theme of Omotesando Hills’ event this year is aurora in the city. There are icicle illuminations forming a ‘curtain of light’, complemented by various heart and diamond motifs. Then outside the shopping mall, Omotesando's stylish main road has been Christmas-ified by filling the trees with fairy lights.

Dates: 7th November (Omotesando Hills) and 29th November (outdoor lights) - 25th December 2018

Nearest Station: Omotesando, Meiji Jingu-mae or Harajuku


Shibuya Blue Cave

Source: PR Times

Shibuya is bringing out their super popular, mysterious blue cave once more, which will stretch from Shibuya Koen-dori and into Yoyogi Park. Take a stroll in a tunnel of blue lights which undulate at random.

Dates: 30th November - 31st December (Yoyogi Park) and 16th January (Shibuya Koen-dori)

Nearest Station: Shibuya or Harajuku


Tokyo Midtown, Midtown Christmas 2018

Source: PR Times

While many of the inner city illuminations are confined to just one area, these lights are spread all around the Tokyo Midtown area. The main event is the Starlight Garden display which will be set up at the Green and Park event space. Another highlight is the chance to take a photo of the Christmassy scenes with the iconic Tokyo Tower shining in the background.

Dates: 13th November - 25th December 2018

Nearest Station: Roppongi (exit 8) or Nogizaka (exit 3)


Nakameguro Minna no Illumination 2018

Source: PR Times

Nakameguro is famous for the cherry blossom festival which sees pink-petalled trees romantically lining the river. If you missed it this year, the scene is recreated in winter too as sakura-hued bulbs adorn the trees instead of flowers, perfect for a romantic nighttime walk.

Dates: 9th November - 6th January 2019

Nearest station: Ozaki or Gotanda


Marunouchi Illumination 2018

Source: At Press

Tokyo station’s European style brick exterior makes for a beautiful sight at any time, and during winter you can make your way to the nearby Marunouchi area to see it turned into a twinkling winter wonderland. The trees have been draped with classy champagne gold bulbs, the perfect background for some stylish selfies.

Dates: 8th November - 17th February 2019

Nearest Station: Tokyo (Marunouchi side)


Caretta Shiodome, Caretta Illumination 2018~ Disney MovieNEX Princess Illumination

Source: PR Times

In recent years this winter event has taken inspiration from Disney movies, like last year’s Beauty and the Beast extravaganza. This year’s festive light-up will incorporate motifs from both Frozen and Rapunzel. An enchanting must-see for Disney fans of all ages.

Dates: 15th November - 14th February 2019

Nearest station: Shiodome or Shinbashi


Yomiuriland, Jewellumination

If just a few lights draped over trees isn’t going to do it for you, how about a whole amusement park which has been transformed into one big illumination event. Instead of taking a relaxing walk around the light installations you can speed past them on a variety of rides followed by a water and light show at the fountains. In the outskirts of Tokyo, it only takes a half an hour train ride from Shinjuku, and Yomiuriland's festive atmosphere should melt even the frostiest of Grinch hearts.

Dates: 11th October - 17th February 2019

Nearest station: Yomiuriland-mae (a bus service runs from the station to the theme park)


By - Jess.